An In-Depth Scope at the March for Our Live Protest in Manhattan
By: Lucia Elmi
New York City showed up to March for Our Lives.
Tens of thousands marched down the streets of Manhattan from Columbus Circle all the way to Times Square to rally for gun control in schools across the United States.
The event was sparked by a school shooting on February 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which was responsible for taking the lives of seventeen students and injuring seventeen more.
The nation-wide protest was held on March 24, just six weeks after the deadly massacre. Calls for reform on gun control quickly inflated into a world-wide phenomenon, sparking thousands of people around the world to march the streets holding posters, calling for an end to the senseless gun violence on children and innocent lives as a whole.
Protesters packed onto the Staten Island Ferry as early as 7 AM, determined to beat the early morning rush hour. Subways in downtown Manhattan were packed to the brim with eager protesters, hustling to get to Columbus Square, the heart of the protest.
MTA staff did their best to direct the traffic of protesters in and out of the subways, announcing relevant train departure times to protesters and having MTA workers on site to route the busy traffic as orderly as possible.
As tedious as the commute was, people attending the march maintained a positive and patient attitude during their travels.
The event began with a rally in Central Park where speakers took the stands to voice speeches for gun control and offer sympathies for those that perished in gun violence throughout the many instances of mass shootings that have happened in just the past few years alone around the country.
Amongst the speakers at the rally in Central Park, were survivors from the Las Vegas and Sandy Hook shootings.
Those standing alongside the protesters marching in the streets were former Beatles member Paul McCartney and the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo.
Also among the marchers, were band marchers and local charity organizations were also amongst the crowd of peaceful protesters.
However, there were counter-protests that gathered in Columbus Square near Trump International Hotel & Tower alongside those that were heading to join the march for gun control.
Despite the clash of polar opposites, protesters kept to themselves without any significant backlash from either side.
Although the march has been a largely student-sparked event, a wide variety of faces were seen in the crowd of protesters marching together to end gun violence. Among them were the younger and older generations, who despite having different viewpoints, joined together as one.
There were also men and women of every race, religious background, and sexual orientation. Families came with their young children and even the elderly tagged along throughout the streets holding up homemade posters and chanting for change in gun laws.
The Parkland school shooting surged an outcry for reform from a diverse group of people that were victims of gun violence.
Many people marching the streets were family members of those who were subjected to the brutality of gun violence through other events other than school shootings, such as gang violence, racial bias or from being killed from the use of guns during domestic disputes.
Those victims included children and especially women of color, who are statistically one of the highest groups of people at risk for being killed by a gun.
One woman’s poster read, “Guns have more rights than my vagina.” Another read, “I wish women had as many rights as guns.”
This historic event had an overwhelming turnout of people, which could possibly pave the way for continued activism in the ongoing perusal of gun control in the United States.